In the latest issue of the gotoandplay.net e-mail I read an announcment about an upcoming event here in P-town. Stefan Bucher is coming to town to talk about his 344 thing. The glowing description and list of awards and accolades intrigued me so I went to his site.
I enjoyed the site and was impressed with the messaging. I've been struggling with the message on my site so it was good to see an example of how to be, "Hire me now!" without seeming too desparate. Anyway, one of the things I loved was how straightforward it was. No beating around the bush, no barriers. An open invitation to call him up or e-mail him. So that is what I did.
I sent him an e-mail saying how much I enjoyed the site and that I would be attending his talk on the 12th. I guess I didn't want to sound to fanboy or groupie so I added a PS with a critique about the site.
From an interactive standpoint the site is not at the same level as Stefan's work. I mean, for god's sake, he's using frames! So I asked him when v2 was coming out. To my surprise, Stefan e-mailed me back. He was glad for my comments but wondered what issues I had with the site. He said that I was the first person in 3 years to give negative feedback.
At this point I felt like I had overstepped my bounds and offended him but he didn't seem offended. I have a feeling that I'm not the first person to look at the site and critique it. I might just be the only person to tell him about it. I didn't really give him a critique, I just asked when V2 was coming out.
ANYWAY, he invited me to take a whack at revising the site. I'm a little nervous about trading on sacred ground, but it will be cool if it works out. I think this all boils down to the fact that print designers aren't automatically good interactive designers. There are always exceptions, myself included, but even then you're always going to be better at one than the other.
Its not a question of talent. Its experience. I live the web. I'm always thinking about it and how to design for it. A print designer lives in print. This experience gives the designer the material or context for what they are designing. I'm not thinking about print, immersed in new techniques, ideas, and trends. So my work won't reflect that.
In the end, we're all doing the same thing, storytelling. Our clients tell us a story about there business and we help them tell that story to their audience. I guess collaboration is the key. The best work I have done was in collaboration with people fromo many disciplines. Sure, I can make incredible things happen by myself, but not always. And even when they are incredible, imagine how much better they would be if I had input from others.